Re: Request for review of alt and alt value for authoring or publishing tools

On Tue, 15 Apr 2008 23:56:36 +0200, Ian Hickson <> wrote:
> I don't understand. Why can't whatever behaviour will happen for
> alt="magic vlaue" also happen when the alt="" attribute isn't present? In
> both cases we're talking about future tools, and in both cases we're
> presumably talking about the same behaviour. I agree that the users of
> legacy tools are screwed either way (magic value or missing attribute,
> both will result in a poor user experience for these images in today's
> UAs, though the missing alt case at least typically has user prefs so  
> that
> the user can tweak those cases, another reason why I personally prefer
> simply omitting the alt="" attribute rather than introducing keywords).

I think the "opposing viewpoint" is more about today's behavior and  
content than how we can have it in the future. The assumptions seem to be  

  * If the alt attribute is specified it is likely to be correct.
  * If the alt attribute is omitted the more typical case is that the image  
does not convey information.

Joshue also made the point that AT software skips <img src=...> today  
where they would not skip <img alt=...> today.

I think your assumption is that whether the alt attribute is specified or  
not does not affect the likelyhood of it being correct. (As in, <img  
src=... alt=""> for an image that needs alternate text and <img src=...>  
for an image that doesn't are about as likely to occur.)

(This is probably an oversimplification and I'd love for people to make it  
more clear where they are coming from with this.)

Anne van Kesteren

Received on Tuesday, 15 April 2008 22:21:30 UTC